Interviews & Podcasts

Interview Wendy Martin & Natalie Zaman

INTERVIEW 1 - Interview Wendy Martin & Natalie Zaman

Wendy and Natalie have teamed up for a second time to create a coloring book based on magic spells. In their new coloring book, Color and Conjure, Wendy has provided the illustrations and Natalie the spells.

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Let’s get to know Wendy & Natalie

Do you remember the first thing that you drew and if so what was it?

Wendy:

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I knew as a wee sprout I would be an artist when I grew up.

Natalie:

The stick figures I made as a child are very similar to the ones I draw now! Well, at least I was able to get my point across for Color and Conjure

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Do you have any formal art training or are you self taught?

Wendy:

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, an Associate of Applied Sciences in Fashion Design and majored in art during high school. Being an artist, one is never done with training and I still take instruction from masters in my chosen field

Natalie:

I actually studied Art History when I was figuring out what I wanted to do for a Masters degree. I ended up pursuing English, but I love the interconnectedness between disciplines—everything is interconnected in some way.

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What are your favorite things/topics to draw/illustrate?

Wendy:

I am drawn toward that which is beautiful, joyous and happy. I tried to draw scary monsters as a challenge one year and it was a miserable failure as all my monsters ended up being cute and cuddly.

Natalie:

I’m going to answer this from a writer’s point of view, because, well, see question #1! I love history and finding out the roots of things—and then applying them to things that are happening today. I think that’s why I love working with magical topics—again it all comes back to that interconnectedness

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Where do you create your drawings? Can you describe what your workspace looks like?

Wendy:

I create almost anywhere I can have paper and pencil and there’s enough light to see. My official space is a home office. I have both an iMAC and traditional art supplies. Also lots and lots and lots of book shelves all covered in art and art related books.

Natalie:

I’m never without a notebook because who knows when inspiration will strike or the Universe will hand you an idea—but I do love my little office and being surrounded by crystals and herbs and other magical things.

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What is your drawing process like? Do you prefer to finish a drawing in one sitting, work on it over a number of sittings or do you switch between drawings that you are working on? Or do you do something else?

Wendy:

My process is pretty typical. I start with rough pencil sketches, which I refine a lot before scanning them in and completing them on the computer. I usually have several projects going on at a time. Some for private commissions, some for book publishers and some which are personal work.

Natalie:

The writing process is a little different. When I get an idea, I just brainstorm it and write down everything I think of, no matter how crazy it is. Then I let it sit for a bit before trying to make sense out of it. After that it becomes an outline, which then becomes a draft or a proposal with a sample which I send to my agent—then she helps me tweak it before we send it out. Like Wendy, I usually have a few things cooking at once!

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Do you listen to music while you illustrate, if so, what are your musical tastes?

Wendy:

My usual go to music is streaming from Radio Paradise. I never know what they will serve up. It covers a broad spectrum of genres, so it always keeps me interested. (I do turn it off when it trends toward hard rap though. Hard to create to that.)

Natalie:

I have movies play as background while I’m working. They’re all on my ancient iPad. I also have a bad habit of watching the same thing over and over again (because in a way, I’m not really watching it).  We’re getting into Autumn, so I have lots of Halloween/Horror/Occult movies queued up—although I’m a sucker for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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Does your workspace/environment influence your art work at all?

Wendy:

I have no idea. I liken making art to breathing. So I think maybe the opposite is true.

Natalie:

It depends. Lots of people live in my house, and sometimes I find it hard to work when folks are asking me for things—I get lots of interruptions throughout the day, but it’s all good. Sometimes all it takes is a teeny chunk of quiet time, and BAM! The work gets done!

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You have published a coloring book/s please tell us what drew you to the coloring book market and a bit about your book and your inspiration for it

Wendy:

My artistic style is highly graphic since I draw a lot of my influence from Alphonse Mucha and other Art Nouveau masters. The strong line work just naturally lends itself to coloring book art.

Natalie:

It still boggles my mind that I have a published coloring book(s) haha! But it’s an awesome thing that something that something I’m passionate about—interconnectedness—is alive in them. I love the idea that my words are married to Wendy’s images. It’s magic and that is what inspires me.

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What do you look forward to doing in the next 6 months in the coloring world?

Wendy:

I have a Patreon account where my subscribers get monthly coloring pages of all my current paintings (the art work is divine – Lea)

Color and Conjure is the second collaboration with Natalie, and my 4th coloring book in total. There’s likely to be more. Nothing definitive as of today.

Natalie:

I’ll be focusing on getting the word out, and hosting interactive workshops with Color and Conjure. I’m currently waiting to hear about the status of a few other projects I have in the works, but I would love to do another interactive coloring book. This project released my inner 5th grader (I loved workbooks as a kid and this is, in many ways, a magical workbook

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What was the feeling like when you first seen your art work published in a coloring book?

Wendy:

Color and Conjure is my 10th published book. I still get a huge thrill when I first open the box of new book babies.

Natalie:

I agree with Wendy—there’s nothing like seeing a book come to life. During the process you get glimpses, but then you hold the book in your hand… it’s bliss!

What did it feel like to see your art work colored in by someone else?

Wendy:

I honestly don’t remember. I started making coloring pages long before the coloring book craze. I think my first public coloring page came out in 2002 or 2003. Back then I was just posting them on my blog.

Natalie:

I love seeing what people do with the images—my first experience was a workshop that I did the day of Color and Conjure’s release. We made the Chill Out Wheel (pages 36 and 117) and it was so cool to see people doing different things with it. Some folks kept the icicles on their wheels, and one person actually focused the wheel on the things that made him feel chill—essentially he took the spell and put his own spin on it (no pun intended!) which was so awesome. That’s what this project was all about for me—giving people tools to empower themselves.

Do you color as well illustrate/draw/publish books?

Wendy:

I like to joke that I color for a living.

Natalie:

I ♥♥♥ coloring. When I was teaching I incorporated it into my lesson plans. It’s a great way to decompress, or stay in creative mode when I’m stuck for an idea

Packing up art prints for their forever homes. #art #illustration #artprints #patreon #watercolor

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It can be very difficult managing day to day life as well as publishing a coloring book. Can you tell us about your daily routine and how you manage your time?

Wendy:

I am a full time artist. I keep regular business hours like any other worker. I am in my studio working on art from 8 AM until 3PM every day. (And sometime longer if I have a deadline to meet.)

Natalie:

Keeping a schedule is essential. In addition to writing time (which, like with Wendy, I go into overdrive when there are deadlines afoot), I have to set aside time for marketing and networking. I’m usually going from the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits the pillow

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Publishing can be a creative and a chaotic experience with a lot of learning curves along the way. Tell us the best and worst experiences that you have had creating your coloring book

Wendy:

This book is the first one I’ve had published where I was represented by an agent. Letting her deal with all the negotiations and paperwork has been the best part. The worst part? Not being able to share all the wonderful images as I was creating them.

Natalie:

This book came together magically and quickly—the idea, the spells the words and the drawings—or at least it seemed that way. I love the editorial process, because its all about fixing things and making them better. The thing I really find challenging is getting the word out about your work.

Getting ready to #colorandconjure!!! ♡

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What is your favorite treat/reward for a job well done?

Wendy: 

 Chocolate

Natalie:

Something shiny!

Connect with Wendy

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Connect with Natalie

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Where to buy coloring books by Wendy & Natalie

Animal Totem Mandala

Amazon

Color & Conjure

AmazonBook Depository

 

Happy coloring x

Lea

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About the author

coloringqueen

I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

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